Kolkata (Calcutta), the capital
of West Bengal and the largest city in India is also
the hub of the east. Founded as a British trading
post in the 17th century, it quickly grew into a thriving center.
Its colonial heritage is evident in the buildings of Clive Street
and Chowringhee Street now Netaji Subhash Road and Jawaharlal
The city is vibrant and filled with life. It is a major business
center and has fine bazaars and markets. It is also the center
of the country's intellectual and creative activity, including the
sub-continent's best film-makers. Central Kolkata (Calcutta)
is best observed from the Maidan, the central area of parkland
where early morning yoga sessions are held.
The city’s Indian Museum is 1 of the best in Asia.
Additional attractions that should be visited include the Ochterlony
Monument (Sahid Minar), the white marble Victoria Memorial
and the headquarters of the Rama Krishna movement.
On the other side of the the river are the Botanical Gardens
and the Kali Temple of Dakshineshwasar (Belur Math
headquarters of Ramakrishna Movement).
To the west is the state of Bihar, containing the
religious center of Bodhgaya, a sacred site for both Hindus
and Buddhists. To the south, in the state of Orissa,
are 3 important temple cities. Leading, is Bhubaneswar, a
town in which once boasted over 7,000 temples, 500 of which have
survived. The largest 1 is the great Lingaraja Temple, dedicated
to Lord Shiva.
A short distance away to the south of Bhubaneswar lies Puri,
one of the four holiest cities in India, presently being developed
into a beach resort. In June and July Puri presents 1 of India’s
most sensational festivals, the Rath Yatra or ‘Car
Festival’, at which pilgrims pay homage to images of gods
depicted on huge wooden chariots.
A short journey along the coast to the north is Konarak,
popular for its ‘Black Pagoda’ – a huge
solitary temple to the sun god in the image of a drawn by horse
drawn chariot. The sculpture has a sensuous look similar to that
of Khajuraho, and is considered amongst the finest in India.
of Kolkata (Calcutta) is the great railway journeys,
the ‘Toy Train' to Darjeeling. The final part
of the line travels through jungle, tea gardens and pine forests.
Darjeeling straddles a mountain slope, which descends steeply down
to the valley, and has beautiful views of Kanchenjunga (8,586
metres / 28,169 feet), the 3rd-highest mountain in the world. It
is the headquarters of the Indian Mountaineering Institute,
and the birthplace of Sherpa Tenzing. It is also a world-renowned
A 2 and a half hour bus ride takes one to Kalimpong, a bazaar
town at the base of the Himalayas. Many treks can be made from here
to places offering beautiful panoramas of the mountains.
Further north lies the mountain state of Sikkim. The
capital, Gangtok, sits to the southwest. The main activity
is trekking, however it is still in its infancy, therefore,
facilities are minimal.
Presently, travel for non-Indian residents is limited. Trekking
is only allowed in groups, and individuals can only visit Gangtok,
Rumtek and Phodom. The closest railheads are Darjeeling and Siliguri,
located on the slow but spectacular line of India’s northeast
Assam and Meghalaya
Still further to the east are the states of Assam
and Meghalaya. Assam is well known for tea and wildlife reserves,
and can be reached via the state capital of Guwahati.
The tiger reserve of Manas is also rich with various wildlife,
and in Kaziranga it's possible to see the one-horned rhinoceros
Shillong is The capital of Meghalaya
and home of the Khasi people, The region has many
waterfalls, brooks and pine groves, and is described as the ‘Scotland
of the East’.
about east India
||information about travel
to east India